Articles | Volume 9, issue 8
Research article
29 Aug 2016
Research article |  | 29 Aug 2016

Errors in radial velocity variance from Doppler wind lidar

H. Wang, R. J. Barthelmie, P. Doubrawa, and S. C. Pryor

Abstract. A high-fidelity lidar turbulence measurement technique relies on accurate estimates of radial velocity variance that are subject to both systematic and random errors determined by the autocorrelation function of radial velocity, the sampling rate, and the sampling duration. Using both statistically simulated and observed data, this paper quantifies the effect of the volumetric averaging in lidar radial velocity measurements on the autocorrelation function and the dependence of the systematic and random errors on the sampling duration. For current-generation scanning lidars and sampling durations of about 30 min and longer, during which the stationarity assumption is valid for atmospheric flows, the systematic error is negligible but the random error exceeds about 10 %.

Short summary
This paper investigates how long a sampling duration of lidar measurements should be in order to accurately estimate radial velocity variance to obtain turbulence statistics. Using observations and statistical simulations, it is demonstrated that large probe volumes in lidar measurements increase the autocorrelation values, and consequently the uncertainty in radial velocity variance estimates. It is further shown that the random error can exceed 10 % for 30–60 min sampling duration.